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Need help - should I put two broody hens together

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi! Sorry if this info is already in the forum. I had a hen go broody. She hatched three chicks and then abandoned the other 10+ eggs. I always move my hen and her chicks to a smaller coop so the other chickens don't hurt them. I marked the eggs and moved them to another hen who went broody who is the large coop. She has already hatched four chicks and there is another one starting to hatch. Can I move her in with the other hen and the chicks in the smaller coop? Will they fight or hurt the chicks? I feel bad that the second hen isn't getting to stay with any of the chicks she hatched. Would really appreciate the help! Thanks!

post #2 of 7

Generally it's better to keep them separated, at least for a week or three, until the babies are stronger.  I have had hens kill chicks not their own, and just won't risk it again.  Mary

post #3 of 7
If the elder brood is less than a week old, then it is often simple to transfer newly hatched chicks to the older broods mother. This I do at night so younger chicks and foster hen can bond / imprint on each other overnight. The mother of younger chicks is then put though the classic broody-breaking process in a location where she can not communicate with the chicks.

This approach used frequently when hatch rates are low making so at least one hen can more rapidly recondition for another go as well as reduces demands on limited space for keeping broody hens.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Do you think it is mean that the other broody hen never gets to be with any of her chicks? I feel so bad. I can't imagine someone taking away my baby after I birthed him/her! :(

post #5 of 7
Hen loosing brood will be stressed although she will get over it in 3 to 5 days.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #6 of 7

I had 5 hens go broody at once, I had almost 40 eggs. I tried to candle them to see how many were good, then as they hatched, I picked one hen, put her in a smaller cage, and as the eggs hatched, she got to raise them. I kept the smaller cage in the hen house, and when the last chick was about a week old, I let them all out. I ended up with 2 hens raising the chicks. I only lost 1 chick in the cage, and I think it was trampled, not attacked. I only have 10 remaining chicks (I only let them keep 15 or so of the eggs). Some never hatched. SO I was happy with the results. I have never had chickens before, so I probably did a lot wrong, but they are all happy (other than the chicks not being able to free-range yet, I have a family of eagles that moved in) The big chickens they don't mess with, but the chicks they could easily pick up.

post #7 of 7

It depends a lot on the hens in question. More than once I have had two silkie hens co-parent with no issues whatsoever and the chicks go back and forth and think both hens are their mom. However, today I picked up 6 new chicks at Rural King.  I have a mom silkie with 2 week old chicks as well as two broodies sitting on non fertile eggs. My new mom and her chicks are in my small 4x10 broody pen with  ground level nesting boxes.  I assumed I would put one of the broody hens and  the new babies in the broody pen with my hen with the two week old chicks and either they would be co-moms or at least raise two separate families peacefully.  Unfortunately, I had to remove all the new ones because the mom of the two week old babies chased the new babies and the adult broody hen around the pen. None of this liberal co-parenting stuff for her. She's  a crabby old broody who won't let any other chickens near her or her babies. The other broodies are perfectly willing to take the  farm store new chicks but I had to find a new spot for them all.  I've got them set for tonight but I'm going to have to work out something a little more permanent tomorrow.  

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